COMMENTARY: Education regulation disregards and bypasses parents

The Delaware Department of Education Regulation 225 has been amended as a result of a directive from Gov. Carney to Secretary of Education, Dr. Susan Bunting, in a memo dated July 17. The department was directed to provide guidance through regulation to school districts and charter schools to prohibit unlawful discrimination of “Protected Characteristics” in educational programs and activities for students.

Regulation 225 Section 7.4 states that all students enrolled in a Delaware public school may self-identify their gender and race. If a student wants to change his/her gender or race, and the school perceives that the student’s parents may not be supportive, the school may bypass the parents.

Nicole Theis

Every parent should be outraged by this regulation. It’s parents who oversee the care and protection of their children. If a parent affirms his/her child’s biological sex, and now race, he/she is positioned as discriminatory through policies like Regulation 225.

Regulation 225 Section 6.4 also says that a student shall have the opportunity to participate on the team that is consistent with the student’s gender identity regardless of the student’s assignment at birth.

Compassionate accommodations can and should be extended to students struggling with biological realities in a way that protects the privacy, safety and dignity of everyone.

Regulation 225 threatens student privacy and parents’ rights and ignores biological differences between the sexes in competitive sports, which is a serious setback for the advancements made to equal athletic opportunities for girls.

It’s a safety and privacy concern when any student of any age, at any time, can claim or self-identify as the opposite gender and have access to the locker rooms, showers, restrooms, overnight accommodations, and any school activity, such as sports teams, that is gender specific. No federal law requires school districts to grant students access to facilities dedicated to the opposite sex. Yet, this is what Regulation 225 does.

No student should ever be pressured to undress, shower, or share overnight accommodations with individuals of the opposite sex. There is no recourse in situations like this, because that would make it discriminatory according to the language in Regulation 225.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nicole Theis is president of Delaware Family Policy Council.

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